Dr Kevin Thwaites is a senior lecturer in the Dept of Landscape with research interests in theory and philosophy of urban landscape design, and their impact on socially and environmentally sustainable approaches to planning and design of urban open spaces. These general areas of interest converge in Experiential Landscape and Socially Restorative Urbanism, a research stream concerned with applying an integrated approach in human-environment relations to place making in urban open spaces. A particular focus of inquiry in this context lies with explorations into how spatial, experiential and ecological dimensions converge to influence psychological health and well-being in urban settings.
This provides a platform for new directions of thinking, research and practice which re-introduce a more explicit human dimension into the decisions we make when shaping our urban habitat. By taking an integrated approach to the spatial, social and ecological organisation of the urban environment, its main focus of attention is on the interface of human and material realms, connecting in a common framework urban spatial design and participative processes through the development of two new concepts: the transitional edge – a socio-spatial concept of the urban realm; and experiemics – a participative process that acts to redress imbalances in territorial relationships. These theoretical and practical principles are applicable across a wide range of contexts concerning human benefit through urban environmental change and experience.
This work has led to a number of publications including books, peer reviewed academic papers and conference presentations which underpin collaborative activity with colleagues in the UK and internationally. Kevin is an academic partner of the Urban Design Studies Unit at the University of Strathclyde.